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Nutricosmetics 101: The Collagen Opportunity

Before nutricosmetics, collagen was considered a useless protein, cheaper than eggs or whey protein. But since it accounts for more than 30% of the human body, it is actually very important. Especially because body production starts to decline over the years, which directly translates into visual signs of aging.

It influences way more things in our bodies than you might think. With taking collagen, consumers will get so many, let’s call them, outside visual benefits, but it will benefit them even more on the inside. And beauty comes from within after all, right?

So, what makes collagen so special, not just from a consumer benefit standpoint but also as a business opportunity? Understanding the background, benefits, and vast possibilities that collagen brings us can help us think of the best possible applications and products we are trying to develop.

Understanding the background

As collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It makes up a huge part of our skin, hair, nails, cornea, cartilages, bones, and connective tissues. It’s technically a polypeptide that contains amino acids such as proline, hydroxyproline, arginine, and glycine, which are present in all connective tissues within the human body, even in vital organs.

In nature, collagen is found exclusively in animal tissue (there is no such thing as vegan collagen), especially bones and connective tissue. It is responsible for giving skin elasticity, hair its strength, and connective tissues the ability to hold everything in place. It makes up to 30% of the total body protein count and 70% of the protein in the skin, and therefore, healthy skin, digestive systems, joints, and bones all attribute their health and wellness to collagen.

Because our bodies lose up about 1.5% of collagen every year in our adult lives, and our body’s natural collagen production declines with age, collagen is, therefore, a vital player in the complex aging process.

It has physiological effects in a way that is somewhat different from how other nutrients function. Whereas omega-3 fatty acids go from a fish oil supplement through the digestive tract and into the bloodstream to the target tissues like neural cells, collagen, in its usual supplementary form, gets into the system as a short peptide fragment instead of a full-length protein. The cellular receptors detect these shorter fragments and convey that the body’s collagen is being broken down. The body then ramps up production and makes more. It is a brilliant way to optimize collagen production in our bodies.

Stress, poor diet, gut health imbalances, and lifestyle choices in our modern lives largely impact how we age. This is why collagen is a prevalent anti-aging supplement, coupled with the results and benefits that have been scientifically proven. There are a lot of claims from various collagen products, from creams to beauty drinks, but the truth is that the real benefits are seen when collagen is used from the inside out.

Some main benefits of collagen.

First of all, the most noticeable benefits of collagen are to the skin. When someone ages, the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) thins out and loses elasticity in a process known as elastosis. This is when someone starts to show more signs of aging, such as getting more wrinkles and lines, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation, and saggy skin.

However, these changes in the skin are not permanent or irreversible. In studies that have been run previously, women who take collagen in the peptide form regularly for eight weeks saw a 20% decrease in the number of wrinkles on their bodies.

For healthy hair to grow, the human body needs keratin, minerals, and of course, collagen. Most of the amino acids needed to create keratin in the human body are also found in hydrolyzed collagen. Lysine, for instance, has also been found to reduce 5-alpha reductase, a major factor in male pattern baldness is present in collagen supplements. This explains why many people have seen improvements in their hair after taking collagen supplements.

Collagen in supplement form is also very favorable to bones and joints in the same way it benefits the skin. It helps the body’s natural production of collagen. It provides an available source of amino acids, and it is an effective way of improving joint function, supporting healthy bones, and promoting lean muscle mass.

Hormones are responsible for many mechanisms within the body; this is why they need to be balanced to function optimally. Recent research has also shown that the specific amino acids in collagen may help improve the amino acid balance in the body and support the body’s natural hormone production. Collagen helps to balance insulin, cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, melatonin, progesterone, and even the human growth hormone.

Collagen may also help coat the digestive tract and improve digestion, and the consumption of collagen has been known to repair leaky gut syndrome.

Modern life can be stressful, leading to anxiety. These two coupled together have huge impacts on our lives. However, collagen supplements can help reduce anxiety and make it easy to deal with day-to-day stresses. The anti-anxiety properties of collagen lie in its high concentration of glycine. Increasing glycine in our bodies leaves us feeling relaxed and able to cope with life’s ups and downs.

With the aforementioned factors, collagen is the number one anti-aging supplement. The many ways in which it can be incorporated into our diets make it even more attractive to consumers from different age groups and geographies. In addition, collagen supplements are natural, healthy, and cause no harm to the people who use them. The only results acquired from various studies are positive, attributing that collagen supplements are used by people who want varying results, from better hair to stronger joints and healthier skin; collagen supplements have been proven to do the work.

Trends and future predictions

In recent years, the collagen trend has seen a significant increase in popularity. It has numerous benefits that are especially attractive for anyone who wants to keep looking young and healthy. The increased popularity of supplements is evident everywhere. Celebrities showcase their healthy routines on social media, while your next-door neighbor is all about the fancy new diet or a new magic pill.

And this always seems like something that will run out of style when something better, something new, comes along. However, we believe that the collagen trend is here to stay. After all, collagen and the awareness of its benefits have been with us for a long, long time, dating back to ancient China and its traditional medicine.

For centuries, scientists and beauty therapists have fought to improve the appearance of the visible effects of aging upon the human complexion. They kept searching for ways to reduce facial lines and wrinkles, improve skin elasticity, enhance hair thickness and gloss, and strengthen brittle fingernails to create a more youthful look.

But, is the trend here to stay? Or will consumers just take it for a while and then soon forget about it? We believe that the answer to that question simply lies in customers seeing actual benefits and visible results, and to ensure that, we believe that the secret lies in – the form of collagen that people are taking, the quality of products, and especially how palatable they are.

For instance, collagen in its powder form has a very distinctive taste that may be very unpleasant for some people. However, liquid collagen can have a variety of flavors to choose from that are tastier and more pleasant. The second thing is that liquid collagen it’s super easy to take. Unlike pills that can be hard to swallow, especially for children and the elderly, liquid supplements ensure that one can swallow collagen regardless of age or health conditions. This ensures that consumers have a better experience while reaping more benefits.

And last but not least, 85 – 90% of the liquid collagen is absorbed in the first 22 – 30 seconds compared to the hours it takes to absorb 10 – 20% of powder collagen. Our bodies use only 39-53% of powder collagen due to the long time it takes to assimilate it and 98% of liquid collagen because it is easily assimilated into the body.

But regardless of the form, or application, the only predicted change we’re expecting for collagen and whether it’s here to stay or not will be an increase in the variety of different collagen products.

Another thing is increased consumer spending capacity and increased attention for these kinds of products. This will help the market gain remarkable momentum in the coming years. We believe that Collagen products will see an upswing in the coming years because there are changing consumer preferences and lifestyles, increasing disposable income, and increasing awareness about health and personal care.

The good news is, we don’t only see the growing demand for collagen and collagen-related products but also notice a lot of recurring purchases. So, once you get a new customer, it’s usually not going to stop at just one purchase; they will probably keep buying your products and increasing the customer lifetime value.

We believe that collagen benefits coupled with the benefits of liquid supplements will ensure that the market keeps growing steadily. Various factors affect any product’s market, but those that affect the collagen trends favor market growth.

Our only job here is to find the right niches, find the correct applications for the voids that haven’t been filled yet.

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